Hi friends! I'd like to share with you the journey behind MAI Movement and my yoga practice- it's led me to an interesting and great spot in my life. Certainly not with out my share of doubt, self judgement, big dreams and plenty of successes that started out looking like failures.
To me, there is so much more than just another clothing brand here, but I haven't found the best way to share the story on a budget so I've kept it all to myself- until now.
The nitty gritty details: I graduated from UW Stout with a BS in Apparel Design and Development with a love for being in a creative industry, but I wasn't sure exactly where my place in it was. I started designing for a local dance costume company!
While I was there I started MAI Movement with two other friends and we launched seasonal collections with small quantities of each style. One friend had been practicing yoga and mentioned how much the mantra 'I am enough' landed for her in class. We all gasped and looked at each other. That mantra hit us deep in our core. As 23-year olds, we were struggling to find our path and feeling like we should have had way more figured out than we already did. So we let that mantra lead us! MAI is I AM backwards and the name started as MAI : I AM enough. MAI is pronounced the same as my.
My friends who started MAI with me eventually moved out of the city and we struggled to find the healthiest way to continue working together. We all wanted different things, but what we wanted most was the friendship we had found while dreaming about building this brand together. I continued on the brand while working full time jobs in the retail / design industry and they started on their own paths.
Eventually I decided to change the name, we had heard enough awkward conversations with friends, family and strangers attempting to tell someone where they got their new favorite leggings. 'Oh yea, these leggings! They're MAI'..... My leggings? <insert awkward Minnesotan stare that won't ask clarifying questions>
I had begun working with a new friend and soon-to-be new business partner and we had an inspiring brainstorm session where we shifted the name to MAI Movement; a brand all about moving your body and creating a movement of empowerment! From here, things started to get really fun and the business began to grow! More next time about our switch from selling retail direct to consumers to business to business (yoga studios!)
Thanks for reading! I'm excited to start documenting my journey here. I plan to share a lot more about my career as a pattern maker and product development expert, how I made the decisions I made and a lot about yoga and my favorite teachings both physical and spiritual that have worked best for me. I hope you find inspiration, some details about starting your own business or yoga practice and mostly, connection. This is a great big world and we don't have to do any of this alone.
Follow me on the IG @emmaray_mpls and @MAI_movement and let's connect!